New NSF PROMISE AGEP grant funded until 2017! Includes University System of Maryland, CCBC, AACC, and AGMUS

We are very pleased to announce that the University System of Maryland (USM)-Wide AGEP-T grant for PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) grant from the National Science Foundation has been funded!  The new “PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation” is a $1,750,000 grant over 3.5 years, effective October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2017.  Primary partners are the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB);  and all of the campuses within the USM will participate.
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Our signature programs will continue with funding for graduate students from USM’s campuses to attend activities such as Dissertation House and Summer Success Institute (SSI).  We will also expand programming and mentoring for postdoctoral fellows throughout the system. New activities include the annual graduate student research and careers conference that will build on the recommendations of the Council of Graduate Schools’ report “Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers” and an annual conference for undergraduates to learn about opportunities in graduate school.  Finally, our Professors in Training (PROF-it) students will have opportunities for mentored teaching experiences at campuses across the USM, Anne Arundel Community College, the Community College of Baltimore County, and the new Ana G. Mendez University Capital Area Campus in Wheaton, MD.

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Published by Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) –, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull;

18 thoughts on “New NSF PROMISE AGEP grant funded until 2017! Includes University System of Maryland, CCBC, AACC, and AGMUS

  1. Synopsis of the national AGEP program: (Ref.

    The Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program aims to develop the human capital and administrative and academic infrastructure that will enable the placement of underrepresented minorities (URMs; African-Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Pacific Islanders) in faculty positions at American universities, colleges and community colleges. Please note that AGEP welcomes participation by URM students with disabilities. From its inception in 1998 as the Minority Graduate Education (MGE) program, it has grown from 8 participating universities to 108 institutions, including about 80% of the top producers of African American and Hispanic PhDs. AGEP institutions have been successful at increasing the numbers of URMs enrolled in and graduated from their STEM graduate programs. The educational research portfolio contributes to the body of literature of successful practices in student recruitment, retention, persistence, and attainment of STEM undergraduate and graduate degrees, especially for populations underrepresented in STEM disciplines: African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Pacific Islanders. AGEP welcomes the participation of URM persons with disabilities.

    AGEP alliances further the graduate education of underrepresented STEM students through the doctorate level, preparing them for fulfilling opportunities and productive careers as STEM faculty and research professionals. AGEP also supports the transformation of institutional culture to attract and retain STEM doctoral students into the professorate.


    1. Congratulations! This is much deserved as countless success stories are to be attributed to Promise and the hard work of its students and staff. So proud and grateful to be a part of such a life changing program. #teamgetitdone



    The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) is the lead institution for PROMISE AGEP, a university system-wide effort for the state of Maryland to facilitate underrepresented STEM graduate student and postdoctoral professional development and pathways to careers. UMBC leads the alliance that consists of all 14 colleges, universities, and regional education centers in the University System of Maryland, four community colleges, and a former NSF Model Institution of Excellence Hispanic Serving Institution in Puerto Rico. PROMISE has been a critical catalyst for increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented minorities. The program also will contribute to the higher education literature on retention and professional development for graduate students and postdocs. The Rotating Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Professors-in-Training program for Maryland’s institutions (including Master’s serving institutions, HBCUs, community colleges, and an HSI) are among the innovations that respond to AGEP’s call to support the national goal of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities who will enter academic STEM careers.

    PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation will focus on four sets of alliance activities:

    1) Graduate student recruitment, retention, and success; to cultivate new students by creating a pipeline (pathway) for students to be prepared for and admitted to graduate school, participate in workshops that promote retention, and develop community to facilitate persistence;

    2) Ph.D. completion and career preparation; to develop activities that will focus on both degree completion and transition to careers;

    3) Programs for postdoctoral scholars; to facilitate coordinated policies and programs for mentoring underrepresented minority postdocs across the university system; and

    4) Programs to enhance faculty understanding of diversity issues in graduate and postdoctoral education; to open dialog among the faculty to develop promising practices for underrepresented minority recruitment, retention, mentoring, and transitions to careers.

    The new project will engage the University System of Maryland in a system-wide focus on diversity in STEM graduate education, and will share resources and facilities to provide professional development for participants that might otherwise be limited or non-existent at some of the institutions without the alliance. This state-wide alliance eliminates the “silo-effect” or independent STEM diversity efforts, and it promotes as a core mission the collaboration to expand and connect a community of scholars through the state. The state-wide alliance allows the institutions to provide pipelines and pathways between institutions for doctoral study, postdoctoral placements, and faculty appointments.

    The project includes a research component to explore three research questions: Does experience of micro-affirmations/micro-aggressions, a sense of belonging, professional networks, and mentoring experiences influence graduate student outcomes such as time to degree, persistence, job placement, and a sense of agency in career advancement? How do these outcomes and experiences differ by student demographics, discipline, or institutional type? What role does participation in the PROMISE AGEP play in these experiences and outcomes? The goals of the proposed research are first to determine whether students in the second group are more likely to experience a sense of agency in career advancement, persist in their degree programs and STEM, have shorter time to degree, and find academic appointments post-graduation. Second, the research will explore how the PROMISE program facilitates access to these experiences, promoting educational outcomes for underrepresented minority students in STEM.


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